SkyPower, Ltd. (SkyPower), has announced plans for a new solar park in the Greater Sudbury area that will tie into the provincial power grid as part of Ontario’s feed-in tariff program. The company will locate the $35-$45 million park, which it has named the HighLight Solar Project (Highlight Project), south of the town of Capreol in the Valley East region.
Toronto’s SkyPower is a solar energy company that develops, manages, finances, and owns renewable power projects across the globe. Members of the company’s experienced team dedicate their careers to developing green projects “in a responsible and meaningful manner.” SkyPower’s other Ontario projects include Canada’s first full-scale solar park, First Light I, in Stone Mills, and two recently announced installations in Napanee and Thunder Bay.
“The site… has a good amount of sunlight, according to our consultants,” says SkyPower’s spokesman, Brett James. “A good site is not impeded by winter conditions.” The new Valley East installation will utilize as many as 200,000 solar panels. The project’s construction will create eighty jobs for trades workers and graduates of the province’s PV training courses, and it will generate enough solar energy to power approximately 1,000 homes. SkyPower expects to begin constructing the solar power project in August, 2011, and complete it within six to eight months.
Project Will Create Green Jobs for Graduates of Solar Power Courses
Ontario has a robust green energy industry that includes solar module manufacturing plants and a number of related career opportunities. The province also benefits from training courses, such as Ontario Solar Academy’s five-day PV design and installation program, that prepare Ontario workers for new careers in the solar energy industry.
The centrepiece of Ontario’s green economy is its feed-in tariff program, which pays high prices to power producers who tie solar, wind, and biomass projects into the province’s electrical grid. SkyPower has applied to the provincial government to participate in the program. From there, it must also receive approval from the Ministries of the Environment, Tourism and Culture, and Natural Resources before it can commence building the HighLight Project.
The energy the project creates will divert about 10,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by replacing an equivalent amount of fossil fuels. Once the solar modules have reached the end of their lives – about twenty-five years – the company will remove the structures and leave the land to nature.